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New DBAS building to open March 2014

If everything goes as planned, the Development Bank of American Samoa will open the doors of its modern new office in Pago Pago next March (2014), in the exact same place it had been located before it was completely destroyed by the 2009 earthquake and tsunami.


The project is being funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and carried out by Paramount Builders to the tune of $3 million.


The original contract for the project was $2.6 million but change orders, including the relocation of the water and sewer lines— which were not part of the original work plan— were necessary.


Project engineer J.R. Mirasol told Samoa News yesterday that relocating the water and sewer lines has caused delays in the project, which he estimates will be completed in about six months.


He said some of the lines were underneath the foundation and therefore had to be moved.


With work being carried out daily by a crew of about 20 workers, the project is currently 60% completed. The roofing is already being set in place and Mirasol reports that in the next month or so, partitions will be made in the interior and the finished work will commence.


The new DBAS building is a two-story structure that is elevated because the area is prone to flooding. The ground floor (which is elevated to nearly seven feet) will be open and used for parking while the top floor will house the bank's operations and employees.


Besides the concrete, all the materials for the project are being shipped in from off-island, based on the specifications called for in the project plan.


Following the 2009 tsunami, DBAS relocated to their current office on the second floor of the Lumana'i Building in Fagatogo.